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RHI support drives biogas industry growth

Government subsidy through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has driven strong growth in biogas plant deployment, according to a new report.

The latest market report from the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) says 86 biogas projects have applied for RHI support, nearly double the number operating this time last year.

More than 100 new plants were commissioned in the UK in both 2014 and 2015, but ADBA says 2016 will not quite reach that level.

More than 540 AD plants are now in operation overall, up from 424 the year before.

ADBA chief executive Charlotte Morton said the figures show biomethane had “gone mainstream”, with the technology heating around 170,000 homes in the UK.

She said: “Biomethane to grid is a real success story for the RHI, and we look forward to the Government setting out its plans for the next phase of the support scheme. Incentives for renewable electricity, however, are heavily restricted, which is a huge missed opportunity.

“With the right support, the biogas industry could deliver 250MW of new generation capacity during the next two years – enough to add 10% to our tight winter 2018 capacity margin and bring benefits to farming, recycling and the economy.”

Morton called on the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to address its Feed-in Tariff subsidy budget to boost investment in AD.

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